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dedkad

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Posts posted by dedkad


  1. My guess is that if you do charge them a late fee' date=' you might as well just go ahead and take them off the roster because that late fee is just even more incentive not to pay. Just a thought.[/quote']

     

    Agreed.

     

    Follow BSA literature and charge weekly or monthly dues that a thrifty boy can pay himself rather than a large annual fee. Boys whose dues are not current cannot advance, voila.

    Can you imagine going through the headache of collecting fees not just once a year, but every week or month? No way.

  2. I would tell the parents that rank advancement typically happens at the B&G because if a den is meeting weekly and following the program laid out in the Leader Guides, then February or March is when they should have completed all of their requirements for rank. The dens in our pack only meet once or twice a month, so we don't have our rank advancement until our end-of-year campout in early June. That's what works for us. In any case, I agree that it is good to set goals, otherwise people get lazy and put off for too long the things that need to get done.


  3. you bring up many points Pack18alex

    Honestly, aside from running the store, processing the member applications, and maintaining the scout camp properties that we don't get a lot of use out of anyaway....I don't see that we get much of anything out of council. granted that's just my perspective, but that's how it is.... They aren't helping to grow our numbers and they aren't helping us put on a better program..... imho

    What little training is offered seems to be solely facilitated by volunteers

    The round table seems to be staffed by volunteers in a facility that I'm guessing is donated. (church)

    .... so I'm not really sure on the cub level what would be gained by maintaining our "good relationship" with council..... I'm assuming anyway, that we have a good relationship, since we are one of the more lucrative packs in the area in terms of popcorn, and relatively large membership roles.

    Short of something in-appropriate such as selling dirty magazines...., I can't imagine why they would not approve a fundraiser. What was the "niche" product that they rejected for you?

     

    Our council provides a fair amount of training too. Although the training is run by volunteers, someone needs to coordinate it. The council has expenses, so we all need to contribute our share, but the majority of funds should definitely be kept at the unit level because that is where it best serves the boys.

  4. A couple things to think about. You are dealing with nine 1st graders, so expecting them all to sit, listen, and behave during an entire meeting is unrealistic. Your goal in Cub Scouts should be to engage the boys and teach them things while having fun. At this age, every boy should have an opportunity to be denner or assistant denner. If the responsibilities are too much for some of the boys, then don't ask as much from them as you would the others, but don't deny them the opportunity.

    • Upvote 1

  5. Popcorn is the main fundraiser for my son's Cub Scout pack. The troop that he is joining lets boys sell popcorn if they want, but doesn't push it. I don't think there are any rules about non-sanctioned fundraisers, but you are supposed to submit a form to your Council for approval to do any type of fundraiser. I suppose if you weren't selling popcorn and weren't participating in Friends of Scouting, the Council may not look too kindly on your fundraiser request if they are not getting any funds from your unit.


  6. Last night my son went to his 3rd meeting for the troop that he will be joining. I am now convinced that he made the right choice. The meeting was boy-led, organized, fun, and they included my son and made him feel welcome. Although it would have been nice to have had a hand in trying to improve the CO troop, it would have been a long haul. The boys in the CO troop aren't respectful to each other, several adults hover and interrupt during the meeting, and I just get the feeling that some of these adults are there trying to relive their youth through Boy Scouts. Their troop is set up to attract a certain kind of boy, and unfortunately for the troop, I have to say that most of the boys in our pack aren't those kind of boys, so I don't think the pack will be a very good feeder pack for them as it currently stands. Although I do agree with Fred that there are some fundamental issues that arise with troop-shopping, I do think that different troops meet different needs. The 5 boys in my den are joining 3 different troops because there was something in each troop that sparked an interest for them. Unfortunately, none of the troops is the CO troop.


  7. This sounds like Camp Emerald Bay on Catalina Island. It's a council owned camp that has been there since 1926. It is more expensive, but I would expect anything on Catalina Island to be more expensive. It's not a big island, and all the supplies have to come in by boat from the mainland. In addition the land is leased, not owned by the council (almost the entire island is owned by the Wrigley family or the

    Catalina Island Conservancy). I have heard good things about it, but I have never seen the camp myself.

     

    http://campemeraldbay.org/

    Yes, that is the camp.

  8. Even though we haven't bridged over yet, I took my son to the Boy Scout meeting last night so we could learn more about this expensive camp on Catalina Island. Turns out it is actually a Council-owned camp, not a private camp. The people we talked to all raved about how fun the camp was, so my son and his friend decided to go but I told my son that he had to raise $300 of the cost himself.


  9. Many Webelos activities I have treated with more of a checklist attitude. You heard it, did it, saw it? Then good, you're done. I have been taking a different approach with Readyman because I think it is so important to reinforce it over and over, so the boys will be able to act calmly and correctly in a real emergency. For this reason, I have been dedicating many many meetings to doing the Readyman requirements, and am trying a different approach at each meeting.

     

    For the first meeting, I had the boys read the Readyman section ahead of time, then we played Readyman basketball where I would ask questions and for each correct answer, the boy got to step closer to the basket. When all the questions were done, they would shoot baskets. They got points for correct answers and baskets, so whoever had the most points at the end was the winner.

     

    For another meeting, I put the boys on the spot with "real-life" scenarios. I cut out pictures of bloody noses, cuts, scrapes, frostbite, burns, ticks, etc.. The boys took turns being a "victim" or a "responder". The responder would step outside while I prepped the victim. Then the responder would have to come in, evaluate the injury based on what he saw and what little the victim told him, and then would have to demonstrate how to treat it. I had first-aid supplies on hand so they could do a "real" treatment, not just tell me about it. I even had a picture of a garter snake to try to fool them into treating a snakebite that wasn't poisonous.

     

    For another meeting, I assigned each boy a particular injury, and they had to make a presentation to the den on how to recognize the injury and how to treat it. I gave them free reign on how to do their presentation and encouraged them to make it informative, while still holding the boys' interests. Most importantly, it had to be accurate.

     

    For another meeting, we had an EMT come speak to the boys about the "hurry" cases. Then we practiced making stretchers out of a sheet and two long sticks and did stretcher races. The stretchers were not a Readyman requirement, but fun.

     

    For another meeting, we did a bike ride and made several stops along the way to talk about bicycle safety.

     

    At another meeting, I handed out a drawing where the boys needed to find and circle the things that were unsafe in the kitchen, in order to talk about where accidents are most likely to happen in the home. They also took a brief written true/false first-aid quiz at that meeting.

     

    We haven't talked about safe swim yet. Would have liked to have done that with an actual den meeting at a public pool, but I don't think we will have time to get that field trip together in time for our AOL ceremony. We'll just have to talk about it instead.

     

    So you can see that it has been a long drawn-out process for me to teach the boys Readyman. How much they are actually learning and retaining is still questionable, but at least we are having fun doing it.


  10. You might want to contact the District and find out who charters the various Scout troops in your area. Then you could consider becoming active in those charter organizations and get your foot in the door that way.


  11. Our troop recruits and invites Webelos to join us on any camp out that logistically would work. We also provide a calendar of events and cleaned up roster (last initials only, etc). We even volunteer to help at events if we can get scouts to sign up for it. And we have a November camp out that targets Webelos and we teach them skills and ask them if there is anything special we should cover. We also have two den chiefs in other units.

     

    ================================================== ======

     

    But several troops in our city are very gung-ho over-the-top recruiting now. The troop that is getting most of our cub scouts now has threads into at least four packs if not five. They start contacting the potential scouts and scout leaders when they are Bears. We were used to 6 to 12 months in advance. And they are at 80+ boy scouts. I think they would be happy if they had all the scouts from our city.

     

    So now I'm stuck as CC of our troop and COR of our pack and our troop ... where the pack leaders are tied to the other troop and promote that troop. For years the pack fed our troop. It changed and now it's almost impossible to change back until the other troop screws up again. ... SO ... If our COR wants a strong program, it seems only logical that I should remove the pack leaders that are supporting the other troop and suggest they join the pack of that troop's COR. Why should I sign off on pack leaders that don't support our troop? Their sons joining the other troop is prima facie evidence that they don't support the COR. So why have them as our pack's leaders. Seriously. The idea of a COR is that the COR wants to run a youth program. Why have leaders that promote another group's youth program? I'd rather have a weaker pack that supports our troop then extra leaders that don't support our troop.

     

    The point is the BSA program design does NOT make sense.

     

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    If the argument for troop shopping is that there are bad troops, then, ... because there are at least as many screwed up packs ..., BSA should promote pack shopping instead of leaving so many youth to join bad packs. Every pack should put flyers out to all the local schools and let the supposed best pack win and let the other packs die. (not serious, but this is the parallel of troop shopping) Or have big city wide join scouting event and people choose the pack they want and let the others wither and die. (not my suggestion, but it's parallel with troop shopping)

     

    I fully believe that the imbalance between healthy and flailing units is a result of this troop shopping and the structural separation between packs and troops. It starves fresh leadership and lets units continue for years with flaky programs. It's a problem that's very well known at the cub level as by the time leaders are experienced they move onto Boy Scouts. Then at the Boy Scout level the good adults tend to clump at troops with good reputations leaving other troops to wither or continue flailing forever. You don't have enough new energy coming in to drive improvements. So you end up with a cycle of growth and sickness in packs and troops. It's a bad program design that leaves way way too many scouts and volunteers in weak units and leaves them with bad experiences. Every time we state that we know there are half the packs/troops are poor units, we are also stating we know that half the people registered in scouts are having poor experiences with scouting.

     

    It's a bad design because it depends on a COR but then subverts the COR by having the charter org chase the same scouts again and again.

     

    And if for no other reason, it's a bad design because one charter org can only have one charter org rep who then oversees two units where the units don't have to support each other. A better design would be each unit can have a separate charter org rep. Zero requirement for it to be one charter org rep per charter org. Oh wait ... the COR is a voting member of the district and BSA. And each charter org can have one.

     

    A fundamental change needs to occur. Personally, I'd really love to see adopt a UK approach where the charter org is a "scout group" and there is a natural progression between the levels and a strong relationship between the units. http://scouts.org.uk/about-us/organi...cal-structure/

     

    ==============================

     

    Perhaps the very first change should be one re-charter. Don't recharter a pack and troop separately. One charter renewal. One check. One membership list. That will get the adults talking and working together. Only makes sense. Heck, our pastor always looks at me weird when he has to sign two different charters, sign two copies of the charter org agreement even though they are one charter org and they only have one charter org representative. It's a broken design that needs changing.

    I'm curious to know if you are in favor of families being able to transfer schools if their neighborhood school is an underperforming school, or if you think the families should just tough it out and attend their neighborhood school.

  12. Fred,

     

    In my neck of the woods, pack shopping is the norm. You might have 2-3 packs visiting a School night round up, so you visit the packs at their meeting. Even after Round up's are over, you still get folks switching around. different packs meet different needs. So your argument for pack shopping does exist and is viable.

     

    As for why do you want leaders at the Cub Scout level who are involved in another CO's troop, maybe they have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to get the job done and be an asset to the pack. After all it is the SCOUT'S (emphasis, not shouting) decision to join a troop, not the parent's, at least it should be.

     

    I know in my situation, 1 Boy Scout at one CO, and a Wolf and in about 6 months TIger at another CO. I knew the troop had some challenges, I and many others tried to advise and counsel to no avail, but I wanted my son to see them anyway as I could not believe the situation was as bad as I kept hearing and reading.

     

    It was. Son went camping with them and it was a complete charlie foxtrot as I described in another post. I went away several times to keep form interfering and expressing frustration. He noticed the issues and, yes, when he asked me if that was a normal troop, I was 'trustworthy" and told him no, it wasn't. He wanted to see other troops, and we did.

     

    I hope and pray that the troop situation improves as many of my former Cubs are in it. But one, who did have reservations about the troop, has commented ' If I don't like it, I transferring."

     

    While the UK model may be a viable one, in fact I do like it myself, one key ingredient is the GROUP LEADERS ( again emphasis) who supervise the pack's, troop's and crew's leadership. Group leaders are similar to our commissioners, but more involved.

     

    But as I mentioned, when you got leaders who think they know better than the folks who have 'been there, done that," and won't listen to their advice, or, more importantly, won't listen to the youth at their SM conferences, and with their election results, and then wondering why the youth are transferring or quitting scouts all together, troop has a problem.

    We encourage families to look at other packs if ours doesn't fit their needs. In our case, all the packs in our town are pretty good, so the pack shopping consists mainly of just finding out what days and times the pack and dens meet, so they can choose one that best fits the family schedule. Personally, I think when families are looking at packs, they should be taking a closer look at the dens. You can have an awesome pack, but there may be a weak den leader at your son's grade level. If the pack structure is that the den leader progresses through the ranks with their son, then you could be stuck with that weak den leader for your son's entire CS career. New CS families don't really know about how the packs and dens are operated, so they are not savvy enough to ask those kinds of questions.

  13. Apparently, we are just combining our efforts, not actually combining packs. We are still our own units.

     

    My new partner and I had to plan January meetings. She wanted to go to the newspaper and do communicator. She even asked me what other achievements I'd like to do. I looked them over and told her what I thought the boys would enjoy. She responded that she wanted to do other achievements and she already has planned what to do. Oh, well. I guess I'm just an accessory now. I'll just show up so she's got her 2-deep leadership and do whatever she asks me to do. I'm not going to fight this. (Even though I think the boys would really enjoy writing messages to each other in secret code.)

    Because Webelos is supposed to be the transition from adult-led Cubs to boy-led Scouts, the two of you should really be sitting down with the boys asking them which badges they want to work on, and then the two of you work together to facilitate that. In several instances, what I thought the boys would want to do was not what they chose.

  14. Ya know these discussions bring up a key part that really frustrates me.

     

    Stop asking what Troops can do for your pack. Boy Scouts do not exist to serve packs. Boy Scouts want to camp, hike, canoe, throw a football around and socialize with their friends. Asking them to go out of their way to help packs do things is very noble, but it's also fighting an upward battle.

     

    Run some events for the packs? I run away from troops that do too many pack / troop events. Those troops usually have adults assigned to market the troops to the packs and have a heavy adult overhead on the scouts. IMHO, I do not think it is an indicator of a good troop at all. If anything, it concerns me about how much the adults are running things.

     

    Den chiefs? Many scouts want to be den chiefs but it rarely works because of #1 scheduling conflicts (need to virtually double your scouting time because of separate meetings, separate place, separate days, etc) and #2 how to get there, coordinate and plan (non-leader parents don't want more driving / tracking especially for something that doesn't advance their son). In my experience, den chiefs only work when there is a yonger brother involved in the den ... AND the parent strongly encourages it.

     

    If your cubs want to choose a good troop, stop looking asking what troops can do for your Webelos. Ask more about what have they done this last year and what are they doing the next year. Watch a troop meeting from the back of the room.

     

    And ya know, if you are in a good pack with strong relationships with other adults that are in the associated troop, don't discount that. Your happiness with the adults leading the troop will greatly influence the success of your scout. IMHO and avoiding extremes, I think it is far more important than choosing the right troop.

     

     

    I kept all of my opinions to myself, which is why I posted here so I could vent a little. I did not put any pressure on my son one way or the other. I didn't want him to doubt his choice and end up being not fully committed to the troop that he did end up choosing, whichever that would be.

     

    As to your other comment about loyalty. When a troop does not provide a Webelos outdoor activity for your boys to earn their AOL, you have no choice but to reach out to a troop that does. You may call that troop shopping, but I call it doing what is best and necessary for the boys to finish and enjoy their Cub Scouting experience. If it had been my choice, I would have chosen the CO troop out of loyalty because the leaders did a good job of building a relationship with me. However, the CO troop leaders and their Scouts did not develop a relationship with my boys, so there was no loyalty there.


  15. Ya know these discussions bring up a key part that really frustrates me.

     

    Stop asking what Troops can do for your pack. Boy Scouts do not exist to serve packs. Boy Scouts want to camp, hike, canoe, throw a football around and socialize with their friends. Asking them to go out of their way to help packs do things is very noble, but it's also fighting an upward battle.

     

    Run some events for the packs? I run away from troops that do too many pack / troop events. Those troops usually have adults assigned to market the troops to the packs and have a heavy adult overhead on the scouts. IMHO, I do not think it is an indicator of a good troop at all. If anything, it concerns me about how much the adults are running things.

     

    Den chiefs? Many scouts want to be den chiefs but it rarely works because of #1 scheduling conflicts (need to virtually double your scouting time because of separate meetings, separate place, separate days, etc) and #2 how to get there, coordinate and plan (non-leader parents don't want more driving / tracking especially for something that doesn't advance their son). In my experience, den chiefs only work when there is a yonger brother involved in the den ... AND the parent strongly encourages it.

     

    If your cubs want to choose a good troop, stop looking asking what troops can do for your Webelos. Ask more about what have they done this last year and what are they doing the next year. Watch a troop meeting from the back of the room.

     

    And ya know, if you are in a good pack with strong relationships with other adults that are in the associated troop, don't discount that. Your happiness with the adults leading the troop will greatly influence the success of your scout. IMHO and avoiding extremes, I think it is far more important than choosing the right troop.

     

     

    BD, a Scout is helpful.

  16. My son plays piano and writes music competitively. We are not a sporty family. Having my son earn sport belt loops is good for him. He doesn't participate in any organized sports activities. He also doesn't go to school, so he doesn't have pe. The sport belt loops gave my son an introduction to the sports. (He was rather confused on how to play some very popular sports.) The academic belt loops, while very basic, still require effort and give the boy an introduction to the topic. My son was gun ho on belt loops for awhile, but there are several that he only completed 2 of the 3 requirements.

     

    Now, I've see belt loops "earned" at cub camp. That is not right. The boys only partially complete 2 of the requirements and then are awarded the loop anyway. That kind of stuff happens at the pack and den level as well. (or at least in my pack) I don't agree with that.

     

    Boys love awards. Or many do anyway. I think it is good for boys to try out different activities and academic subjects.

    I hear similar things about Boy Scouts "earning" Merit badges at camp.

  17. If the DC and the DL are happy with the arrangement and things are working good, then that's a positive for everyone. But if you've had a history with this boy and have some concerns, you should let the DL know that he is not required to keep the DC if it is not working out.

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